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December 13, 2016

Remember to Be Kind in the Days Before Winter Break

As we all struggle to stay engaged in the next week or so, we need to be especially kind to each other. It's easier to be nice than it is to be grumpy and although that is where we may be (which is okay), a smile from a student, colleague or peer can go a long way. So why not be the smile. Say the kind words. Recognize aloud the things you notice and see if you can be the person who makes someone's day, every day.

December 11, 2016

We Can't Assume Students Know How to Choose

Every child knows how to like something, but they don't always know how to make it applicable to learning. Sometimes they don't see the connections and that's where we have to help. The more transparent we can make the learning process, the better students will be able to choose when you ask them "What do you want to learn?"

November 29, 2016

Risks and Rewards in 2016: A Year in Review

Although there have been countless other daily risks taken as it pertains to assessment reform and conversations had, the above were the most significant risks I took this year. Since I'm always looking to keep pushing forward, standing on the precipice of success and failure, has become a ledge I'm all too acquainted with. And failure does happen. And that's okay. With each unsuccessful risk comes an opportunity for reflection and continued growth.

November 27, 2016

Change Requires Buy-In From Stakeholders

Any change worth making take a fair effort of all stakeholders involved, so it is necessary for us to do our best to make sure the message is clear as to why and that lines of communication are open to answer questions that arise. Change is hard and it invokes fear in most people, so we must make sure we do what we can to ease that discomfort.

November 24, 2016

Liberate the Turkey and Homework on Holiday Weekends

Remember the children we teach are "whole". We can't always cater to the academic at the peril of other aspects of who they are as people. Consider the social emotional well being of your students and let them reflect on learning already done and prepare for what is to come when they return.

November 22, 2016

Coaches Should Know Their Communication Strengths to Collaborate With Others

More than learning about myself and others, was dispelling myths about certain ways of communicating and working on leaving judgment behind. It's important to see these styles as a given and once we know who we are and we are dealing with, we can more effectively collaborate.

November 15, 2016

What Makes Struggle Productive?

Many students work hard when it comes to doing the things they connect with like playing a sport or learning a musical instrument; even gaming generates opportunities to persist. Candy Crush for example, says you "failed" when you don't complete a level, yet, we don't throw our hands up in the air and never return to the game. We keep playing until we pass and sometimes we even continue to play to surpass an earlier score. However, students don't connect these skills to their learning. We have to make it transparent.

November 10, 2016

Honoring the "Otherness" of Our Students

Living outside the box, has helped me engage countless students into a dance that encourages them out of their own comfort zones and into their own unique skins. First helping them take the labels off, and then placing their reflective glasses on.

November 08, 2016

Reading Logs Suck!

We must be mindful in what we ask students to do on their free time and really make sure it's something worth doing. Do we want them to love reading and spend time doing it because the enjoy it or do we want to monitor their every move and determine how they will interact with text?

November 03, 2016

Celebrating Teachers and Teaching, New York Style

#ECET2NY914 will kick off this weekend as a part of the growing trend of regional ECET2 (Elevating and Celebrating Teachers and Teaching) convenings happening all over the country. Participating in events like these is a unique and inspiring experience, but in addition to participating this year, I'...

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The opinions expressed in Work in Progress are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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